These red white and blue dog treats for patriotic pups show how simple it is to adapt the same marbling technique as our unicorn bones to other fun treats. Although these star dog treats are made in celebratory red white and blue, the same technique can be used to marble treats in any colour combination. Pawfect for special celebrations or just for fun! You can use this technique to make marbled human cookies, too. You’ll probably want to switch the dog treat dough for a tasty cookie dough, though. Hehehe…
Getting Creative with Colour
Dogs and Colour
Contrary to what many people believe, dogs can see colours. They just see colour (and more) quite differently than most people. Check out our post on dog vision vs. human vision for details and side-by-side photo examples. They don’t really care about colourful or pretty treats, though. They care about delicious scents and flavours. But we humans can still have a little fun when making and sharing treats. I should note though that in the years since this post was first shared, we’ve stopped using anything other than natural food colouring for dog treats.
Red White and Blue Dog Treats
We’re really feeling rather jealous of our American furfriends who will be having a long weekend this week for Memorial Day. But we’re very good and giving dogs so we’re going to make red white and blue dog treats and share a special post for them all the same. Memorial Day may be a holiday, but don’t forget to take some time in tribute and reflection on the reasons for the day. In addition to the human heroes and stories, you might find it really interesting to dig into some of the inspiring history of wartime dogs. There are some great tales and tails.
Choosing Dough Recipes for Marbled Dog Treats
Mixed Doughs vs. Mixed Tints
Marbled dog treats can be made by marbling together different treat doughs or by dividing and tinting a single batch base. Combining doughs is a fun way to mix flavours, but adding simple colourings or coloured ingredients is an easy option and it’s well-suited to small batch baking. These treats were made as a small batch using a single dough, divided and tinted.
Doughs for Tinting
Marbled dog treats using tints can be made using any roll-and-cut (if making shapes) pale neutral coloured dog treat dough. The lighter the dough, the easier it will be to tint true colours.
Personally, I find that the aiming for white rather tricky. Many of our favourite doughs are naturally coloured by their base ingredients. For those that aren’t, very few white (or whitish) binders will stay white when baked. These treats are made with pear baby food and rice flour, and baked a little longer at lower temp to try and hold colour. Not true white, but not bad. Other simple white or pale binding ingredients include cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc. Embrace a little beige! It will make your life easier and your dogs won’t care.
Making Marbled Red White and Blue Dog Treats
Choosing Tinting Colours and Ingredients
Any dog-friendly coloured ingredients can be used to make coloured dough for marbling. You can read more about tinting treats in our post on using natural food colourings for dog treats. Unlike most of our treats, this small special occasion batch of red white and blue dog treats was tinted with a combination of both natural add-ins and food colourings. Blue isn’t a colour I’ve successfully managed to tint naturally. At least not yet! Detailed step-by-step instructions for marbling treats are available in our Unicorn Bone dog treat post, but I’ve included photos of these marbled star treats being prepped and key steps below. We also have a pet chef help post on decorating dog treats for more tips.
Making the Treats:
Preparing the dough:
- Preheat the oven and mix the dough according to your chosen recipe.
- Divide your dough into smaller portions for tinting.
- Tint individually to your preference.
If you are making a simple coloured dough, it’s easiest to tint first; however, if your splitting dough for multiple colours I find it helps spread the colour and save your hands somewhat if you use a divet-fill-fold to start the blending process.
Marbling the dough:
- Separate the dough into small pieces.
- Gather the pieces together and squeeze into a loose ball. Since repeat reforming and rolling will muddy the marbling, you can keep some of your starting pieces aside to add back in on a later re-roll to extend the marble-life.
Cutting and baking the treats:
- Roll and cut into shapes. I used a small star shaped cookie cutter for these red white and blue dog treats. Since repeat reforming and rolling will muddy the marbling, pick your cutter positions to take advantage of colour transitions and combinations.
- Chill if needed for your recipe, and then bake according to recipe.
- Cool before serving and storage.
If you want to maximise the impact of your marbled colours and keep your white whiter, try not to brown your treats during baking. This may require lowering your temperature and/or adjusting the baking time. Cooling in the oven can help make things crisper, if you’d like, or you can pop baked treats into a dehydrator to dry them into a crispy cracker-like treat.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can use the category and tag labels to find recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.